Bootcamp Notes: What’s New

This is the first post in a series of my NAV2013 boot camp notes, starting off course with the general “What’s New”.

Some things I have already posted about will definitely come back here.

  1. Data caching on NST
    NST is now caching data when you request it. It keeps a “stupid” cache, meaning, you request data with specific filters, when someone requests the same, it serves that back to any user. If a user requests the same, but with an extra filter, NST will put a new request against SQL.
  2. Server Admin Tool
    As I mentioned in another post, I will no longer work on the service manager I once created. This is because NAV2013 has options to create a new instance and manage your instance right in their server admin tool. Look for “Microsoft Dynamics NAV Administration” in your start menu. It looks a bit like RTC, but there is no longer a need for a tool to do it.
    The default instance is (still) not port sharing enabled, so you will probably need to reinstall that if you want to do that.
    If you install an instance using the server admin tool, you will notice that it does not create a new folder, but rather has a subfolder on the service for each instance, only containing it’s configuration files.
  3. Automations…
    Server side automations are no longer supported. You can still make a variable on the client side. The reason for this is that the server is now completely 64-bit. And most com objects are 32-bit.
  4. Autocalcfields
    Remember when we had a flowfield, we needed to do calcfields every loop. This causes an SQL statement to be executed. So let’s say we have a table with 5000 records, and in the loop we do a calcfields. This makes the middle tier execute 5001 SQL statements, one for the record set, and 1 per record for the calcfields…
    We now have a new statement which we call before the find. It is called autocalcfields. It makes the NST build another SQL statement than just the SELECT, it incorporates the calcfields already, which improves the SQL Server Load. In your code, you do not need to think about calcfields for the  fields you supplied, because they will be calculated.
  5. Background sessions
    We can stop any session from code, but also use STARTSESSION to start a codeunit for a specific company. Let’s all dream about new possibilities…
  6. Unlimited Unicode
    Next to the fact that RTC is completely Unicode and development environment is not, we can create a variable of type text without supplying a length. This makes us possible to supply 2GB of text data. It is automatically assignable to a DotNet String (more about this later).
    We can also store any Unicode character in our data and text variables. We just cannot make any caption Unicode, because the development environment does not support it. There are workarounds for them, like streaming object metadata and writing the Unicode caption into it.
    By the way, table fields are still limited to 250 characters for a text…
  7. Start ID Offset
    This is actually a nice new feature. You probably know, when you create a variable, or add a control to a page, it gets assigned an ID. Usually, NAV generates this itself. And when we needed to merge objects before, we got some nice error’s saying the ID already existed in the text import at location XYZ… Now via File – Database – Alter, we can set an ID offset, which does as much as saying that any ID nav generates needs to start at this number. Which could make future merges much simpler…
  8. Credentials
    Since NST is now connecting to SQL differently, we no longer need to set SPN’s, nor are we limited to windows users to connect to NAV… For now, we have 4 different options to connect:
    => Windows: Windows computer credentials are passed onto NST
    => Username: The user is prompted to supply his username & password which are validated against windows authentication / Active Directory.
    => NavUserPassword: Users are only stored in NAV, no windows or AD users are required.
    => AccessControlService: for this NAV relies on Windows Azure Access Control for user authentication. You can even use windows live or Facebook.
  9. Dimension
    Also needed to mention, dimensions have been completely redesigned. No longer a table per dimension, but a table called dimension set which contains the possible combinations.
  10. Click once Install
    Install the server and set up all parameters, after that, supply the users with a link, which will install everything they way you set it up.

Off course, there is a lot more. These are some of those which I think are the most interesting. More on the next posts

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